Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Historical Archaeology

First Advisor

Heather B. Trigg

Second Advisor

Christa M. Beranek

Third Advisor

David B. Landon


There are few archaeological studies of the architecture of 17th-century New Mexican ranches (estancias) due to the paucity of surviving examples. Even fewer archaeological treatments of architecture from 17th-century New Mexico consider the cost of constructing estancias in terms of resource and labor extraction. Using a variety of methods to analyze archaeological evidence from LA 20,000, as well as comparative research of reports from other 17th-century colonial sites, this study presents a hypothetical reconstruction of the three main structures at LA 20,000—the house, the barn, and the corral—and provides estimates of the total quantity of materials and labor needed to build them. Additionally, this study situates LA 20,000 not only in the context of 17th-century New Mexican architectural history, but also in the narrative of early Spanish colonization of New Mexico on a household level by discussing the implications of such construction project on the Spanish and Indigenous people of the region.